Living One Day at a Time
Lately I’ve been feeling stuck.
My life seems to have taken on the appearance of an infinite to-do list. The moment I tick off a box, three more appear. Every day, I am literally out of breath running errand after errand, with the ultimate goal of somehow staying afloat.
Bills chase after me, one after another. In turn, as entrepreneurs, my husband, Jared, and I must chase clients. We make our best offers and hope they will consider them. It’s almost like a game — thrilling, but sometimes worry-inducing due to the unpredictability of the outcomes.
I’ve been planning to start another business to supplement the income Jared and I earn with our online jewelry store. I have the concept in my mind, but I have yet to take concrete steps to actually make it happen.
Jared tells me I am a go-getter. He says he has always admired that about me. He tends to be risk-averse, whereas I tend to get excited and dive headfirst into any new possibility.
Well, that isn’t me right now.
Right now, I’m anxious about starting anew. I’ve been overanalyzing my concept. I’ve also been reluctant to spend any extra money. If I were truly confident about the venture, I would have simply spent the money without asking too many questions.
Instead, I’ve been engaging in delay tactics, such as looking for abstract information in vaguely related books rather than simply going out and doing it. From my point of view, running errands has been my way of living — of filling the blank space between past regrets and future worries with a seemingly endless stream of important tasks.
Am I simply distracting myself from what really needs to be done right now? Am I failing to live in the present?
Psychologists say that ruminating on past events or overanalyzing future outcomes can be detrimental to one’s mental health. When we worry too much, we are unable to fully live in the present. We must recognize and admit that we only have control over what is happening now.
When we live in the moment, we focus all of our time and attention on what is happening at present. We begin to tune out the self-critical voices in our minds, put our stressful mental work on pause, and turn to our senses. We become more aware of the here and now.
As someone diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, I admit it’s not easy for me to just “turn off” my brain and check in with my senses. Being married to a person with hemophilia makes it even more challenging because I tend to “catch” and internalize my husband’s emotions. Whenever he has a bleeding episode, the negative emotions that naturally arise from the situation can be tough for me to handle. In those moments, my head becomes a refuge, my internalized safe place.
After a recent anxiety attack, I realized that I’ve spent a significant part of my life living in my head. As a kid, I would even make up stories and stage them like movies playing in my head. Most of the time I was a spectator, but sometimes I was also a character. I would be on autopilot in the real world, paying just enough attention to be functional, while the true party was in my head.
Through time, I may have been conditioned to think that the safest place for me was within the confines of my mind.
But things have changed. I now have real responsibilities. I’m also a wife, a mom, and an entrepreneur (and soon, a serial entrepreneur). I have important things to do now that will influence what our future might look like. But before there can be a future, there is only right now.
Just as Jared can’t predict his bleeding episodes, we can’t know for sure what coming days will hold. We can only live one day at a time, doing what we can do, while letting go of our need for perfection and control. At the end of the day, it’s the only way we can achieve true satisfaction.
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.